House debates

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Constituency Statements


10:56 am

Photo of Meryl SwansonMeryl Swanson (Paterson, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence) Share this | | Hansard source

I think that wanting something better for our children is actually evolution in action. At the moment, our children are facing an uncertain future and, possibly, greater hurdles than anyone has ever faced in the past in their financial future, their work future and their educational future. If we wind the clock back to March, we learnt that young people filled 15 per cent of all jobs and, at the time, this seemed promising. At the time, the government was quick to claim the credit yet since March 40 per cent of all jobs lost have been of those young Australians aged between 14 and 24. The government has paraded its subsidy for businesses that incentivises turning out old staff for new, which doesn't really seem to create new jobs but just seems to suggest the idea of it.

The road to recovery isn't to pit old people against young people. Parents in my electorate want to trust that their children will be afforded better, if not comparable, opportunities to what they had. As I said a moment ago, that is evolution in action. We all want something better for our kids. Even if we don't have children, we accept the notion that we want progress, that we want the world to be a better place for those who are coming after us than perhaps we achieved. On one hand, the government wants to spruik about how it is going to create jobs for young Australians but then, on the other hand, it wants to stop the superannuation guarantee being raised to 12 per cent. This is just nonsensical to me.

We know from ATO data midyear that young Australians between the ages of 18 and 30 have pulled $3 billion—with a 'bill'—from superannuation. In many cases, whole accounts have been drained and closed. How are we going to protect this next generation of Australians from unemployment and generational poverty? The government's apparent plan for young Australians does seem to be a bit of an afterthought. First you leave them with no option but to raid their retirement income savings and then you try to avoid them getting an increase in their super guarantee; it really makes no sense. We know that universal superannuation is the one thing that helps protect all Australians, particularly if we can encourage young Australians to get involved early with their super, to make contributions, to value that super. How many times do you meet older Australians who say 'I wish I had invested more in super when I was younger'? We have to encourage people to do that. (Time expired)